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  •   Pet Health And Care >>  Reptiles >>  Snake Health  

    Snake Health Care:

    Snakes have long been a fascination for those of us who admire or hate this animal.

    Snakes have been a major part of human culture and popular fiction with many parts of the world regarding snakes as either harbingers of evil, signs of fertility and renewal, or as man-eating beasts. The man-eating tag is probably undeserved and is most attributable to the South American anaconda. While this snake does have the ability to consume a human if it has lived and grown long enough, it does not seek out humans in anyway and is much happier feasting on the capybara – the overgrown Amazon rat.

    As pets, the most common species that are sought after are the corn snake and the ball python. The former is a native of North America and is quite suited to being in this part of the world while the ball python is a small python that is a native of the African bush. Its geographical range stretches from Egypt across the savannah to West Africa.

    Snakes are cold-blooded animals and cannot regulate their body temperature. This does not mean that they do not like warmth and heat but rather that they have to acquire this from the external environment. Heat is a crucial part of any reptile’s digestive process and without heat to kick start digestion; food can actually rot in a reptiles stomach. Just like other animals there are also specific snake health problems. Most of these involve some kind of parasitic infection, most popularly by ticks. This is something that the snake can usually take care of naturally by the process of molting. This is not sometime unique with snakes but the process has fascinated humans for a long time. Here a snake will go into hiding and require a lot of water for it to shed off its old skin. The process usually takes a few days that culminates in the serpent using rough surfaces to exfoliate itself and get rid of any parasites on it as well.

    Corn snake health problems are not as prevalent as ball python ones. Ball python snakes are finicky eaters and can go into anorexic spurts if not fed correctly. Corn snakes in captivity need to be fed pre-killed, frozen-thawed rodents. This is because the risk of injury while swallowing large prey is greatly reduced. Swallowing prey is one of the health problems that snakes face due the existence of pathogens in the rodents.
      Submitted on January 21, 2010